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WalterLondon

D-Lux 7 Raw support and some open feedback

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After having used a few Canon and Panasonic DSLRs, I have decided to purchase a compact camera, that allows a lot of manual control. My main motivation for this purchase was to have something superior to my everyday camera, the iPhone 7: a lightweight camera, that still offers features of a "bigger" camera and produces great quality photos.

While I am satisfied with the quality of the camera and the photos and appreciate the manual control that is possible with this small camera, I am very unsatisfied with the software.

  • As others on this forum have pointed out, the RAW format is not properly supported by Lightroom/ Photoshop yet.
  • I can open the RWL files with RawTherapee, but they don't look great using the standard settings. I guess it is possible to create a custom profile that fits this camera, but without, it seems too much work to get to a satisfying result. Any advice on this is greatly appreciated.
  • The Fotos App for the iPhone does not seem to support Bluetooth although the camera seems to offer it. Connecting it via WiFi is not ideal in my opinion, as it will disconnect me from the internet. It is badly executed in my opinion, and just a toy.
  • Leica offers some software online, but I can't access it (I have been in touch with their Support team about this and they agree that it is a bug on their website). Also, why offer a 3-month evaluation license for the Adobe Creative Cloud? I wish there was more than just a trial license. I am not expecting a full version for Lightroom or Photoshop, as I am aware that these are premium products but I think there should be some software that can handle the Raw files.
  • Finally, not really a software thing: I think the manual is not very well made. It doesn't feel like the manual of a 1000£ camera. It has some sloppy mistakes in it, is badly designed and doesn't have much content.

I think it comes down to that I am used to products that work well out of the box and that this was also my expectation with this camera. In a world, where smartphone cameras produce surprisingly good photos, I think it is important for a company like Leica to offer a similarly smooth user experience. Rather disappointing in this price category and for a newly released model.

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Just run the files through Adobe's (free) DNG converter on import.

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Tried Adobe DNG converter, creates a file smaller than the .RWL.  The latest version of Photoshop Elements, 2019, does support the D-lux 7 .RWL with its ACR function.

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DNG files are not recognized by all raw converters so far and some of them do not provide for auto distortion correction, which can be a problem given that compact cameras like D-Lux 7 or Panasonic LX100 m2 have a significant (read: huge) native distortion. 
As things stand, the following (updated) raw converters provide for auto distortion correction on both RWL and converted DNG files out of the D-Lux 7: Iridient Developer, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements. 
Also the following programs provide for auto distortion correction on converted DNG files only: Apple's Photos, Apple's Preview, Silkypix.
Not to say that auto distortion correction is perfect though. Manual correction is always better but of course slower. Those wanting to avoid cropping caused by raw converters may wish to try basic programs like Raw Photo Processor or RawDigger. They convert both RWL and DNG files but provide for little correction and must be used together with Photoshop or same accordingly.

Edited by lct

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Thank you for the great suggestions. The DNG converter works well and I am surprised to see that Apple Photos is actually supporting those files and doing the auto distortion correction pretty well. I have never used this software before, but actually kind of like the ease of use for simple things. Will probably upgrade Lightroom to have an easier workflow, but for now, converting it to DNG and opening the files in Lightroom/ Apple Photos will work fine.

I'm surprised that RawTherapee isn't doing the distortion correction automatically. I have occasionally used this software before with other files and was quite happy with it and would prefer it to a commercial software, but for the D-Lux 7 DNGs, I find it really hard to get a satisfying result where the colors look accurate. If anyone is successfully using Rawtherapee with D-Lux 7 files, I would appreciate some advice.

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RawTherapee can open D-Lux 7's RWL files converted to DNG but you'll have to adjust distortion manually. Not a big deal actually and you can get better results this way since DNG opcodes are removed by RawTherapee so that the edges of your pics won't be cropped by it.

DNG converted to JPG by Preview:
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-gfMQkTC/0/55ba4203/L/i-gfMQkTC-L.jpg

DNG converted to JPG by RawTherapee:
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-hHRnLkz/0/f5bc2c63/L/i-hHRnLkz-L.jpg

 

 

 

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